Live Streaming on Mobile (@ijasonham)

The recent explosion of video-based content on Social Media has been phenomenal. Vine’s, GIFs, an increase (and preference) for video on Facebook has all shot up, not to mention the never ending success of Youtube.

Step into the market Meerkat, a new mobile app that allows users to stream live video of themselves on the internet, sending a automatic tweet to the users account to encourage others to come and view the stream. In just 17 days since launch, it has already attracted its 100,000th user, and it just keeps on growing. The video also has an option for a chatroom so viewers can also interact with the person presenting, which of course helps to build community and dialogue.

When you set up your Meerkat live stream, here is the tweet that is automatically posted onto your wall

When you set up your Meerkat live stream, here is the tweet that is automatically posted onto your wall

Online streaming has never been easier! And I think this app, as well as other instant video streaming providers, open up lots of opportunities for us in churches to engage our congregations throughout the week. Here are some ideas of how we could use Meerkat and other such apps in church:

  1. Bible studies – the idea of live streaming a Bible study has been seen as something which requires a lot of organisation in advance to arrange camera operates and vision mixers. However, the Pastor of a Church could – without any preparation – host a Meerkat live stream and invite their Twitter follows on a short Bible study/maybe a question and answer session too. As of course it’s on your phone the study could happen anywhere as well so it’s very versatile!
  2. Go behind the scenes – are you hosting a Church conference, or maybe getting ready for Easter celebrations? Go live at the team’s planning meeting with a short intro about what the church can expect at the event, or maybe if you’re building a set or making costumes for an event, open up the app and give your Twitter followers a peak behind the scenes of how everything is coming together!
  3. Prayer meeting – Meerkat offers the opportunity to live stream an impromptu prayer meeting, whenever you may be. If you feel that God is calling you to pray for something, head onto the app and connect with your online followers wherever they may be in the world for intercession
  4. Church Online – if your church streams its service live, maybe using Meerkat as an opportunity for viewers to have a peak behind the scenes of how the stream is put together and showcasing all your amazing volunteers that help with this media ministry!

Here are just some ideas to get us thinking, but there really is so much potential! Video content works really well and Social Media users love it!

Have you been using the Meerkat App (or similar)? How are you finding it?

About Jason Ham

Jason is Social Media Co-ordinator at The River Church, Exeter. He is also Church Online Community Leader for Lifechurch.tv in America, and Captain's an online experience. He has run workshops for churches in Devon in how to use Social Media, and is passionate about exploring how we can use the Internet to share the Good News around the world and build community.